About the Boer goat breed

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 9, 2006

The Boer is an improved indigenous breed with some infusion of European, Angora and Indian goat breeding many years ago. The name is derived from the Dutch word &8220;boer&8221; meaning farmer and was probably used to distinguish the native goats from the Angora goats which were imported into South Africa during the 19th century. The present day Boer goat appeared in the early

1900s when ranchers in the Easter Cape Province started selecting for a meat type goat.

The South African registry was established in 1959. Since 1970 the Boer goat has been incorporated into the National Mutton Sheep and Goat Performance Testing Scheme making it the

first goat breed involved in meat production performance testing.

The Boer goat is primarily a meat goat with several adaptations to the region in which it was developed. It is a horned breed with lop ears and showing a variety of color patterns. The Boer goat is being used very effectively in South Africa in combination with cattle due to its browsing ability and limited impact on the grass cover. The Boer goat doe is a low maintenance animal that has sufficient milk to rear a kid that is early maturing. The mature Boer Goat ram weighs between 240 and 300 pounds and ewes between 200 and 225 pounds.

Performance records for this breed indicate standard average daily gains of 0.3-0.4 pounds per day. The ovulation rate for Boer goats ranges from one to four eggs per doe with an average of 1.7. The Boer goat also has an extended breeding season making possible three kiddings every two years.

&045; Source: Oklahoma State University